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Column: Education is paramount for long-term success

August 7, 2018

In San Antonio, nearly 80 percent of graduates from the five colleges in the Alamo Colleges District stay in the Bexar County region after graduating to continue their education or enter the workforce. Exploring future economic growth in San Antonio is vital toward determining what job opportunities might be available for our students in the next few years.

That’s why Palo Alto College has continually offered academic programs over the past 30 years that provide students with foundational skills applicable to a variety of fields and industries. Today, the college offers transfer degrees, and more than 50 specialized associate degrees and certificates in technical programs that inlude administrative computer technology, business management, computer information systems, cosmetology, energy technology, industrial technology, landscape and horticultural science, logistics and supply chain management, and turfgrass and golf course management.

This year, the veterinary technology program — one of the longest-offered programs at Palo Alto College — celebrated 20 years of graduates now working in the animal care industry. The program, which began offering classes in 1996 and graduated its first students in 1998, is only one of five programs in Texas to be fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the only program of its kind offered in the Bexar County region. In May 2018, the program was the only one in Texas to be named to the Top 50 Veterinary Technician Programs for 2018 by TheBestColleges.org.

Palo Alto College’s newest program, health care administration, will launch with its first cohort of students this fall. It’s the only public college in the region to offer an accredited associate degree in health care administration. Students will be able to earn an associate degree or certificate to support the high demand in the growing health care industry and transfer to a four-year college or university to earn a bachelor’s degree.

As job growth continues in San Antonio and employers look to us to produce a ready workforce, Palo Alto College will continue to provide exceptional instruction, gainful employment opportunities and foundational skills to ensure the lifelong success of our students and the community we serve.

Jerry Arellano is director of community and public relations at Palo Alto College, part of the Alamo Colleges District.

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